Greeting for Park City Utah!
It’s been a whirlwind week on my end. It started with giving an exam to 250+ undergraduate students. Wednesday I rocked out grading those exams in a marathon day (grading is easily in the top 3 “worst things I do” in my job). Thursday I got up at 4 am to drive to the airport. Back home we had a strong front come through which turned on the “snow machine” by lake Ontario (along the route to the airport). Luckily on Thursday morning the snow turned off and the trip was uneventful.
I got to Park City at 2:30 local time, checked into the hotel, then headed to the track.
The track is in a beautiful spot. Actually all of Park City is in a beautiful spot. It’s a strangely wild place with a human foot print. There were moose on the hills next to the track. At one point there was also mule deer hanging with the moose. Well, until the mountain lion chased them away (not kidding we watched it).
Thursday was Nations Cup day. My plan was to check and see if they needed any help running the event (I am an international luge official), they did and so I was pressed into service.
Luge world cup races are really cool events and because this is an Olympic year EVERY nation with sliders was here. There were sliders from the US, Canada, Germany, Austria, Italy (all the big players) plus teams from places like Japan, Kazackstan, Ukraine, Korea, and TONGA! How cool is that.
Sliders who are ranked in the top 15 are automatically qualified for the World Cup race. All the rest have to race their way in. The “Nations Cup” is the qualification race. It generally has the younger, less experienced sliders in it who are trying to break in to the big time competition.
The Americans in the Nations Cup showed their stuff. Taylor Morris and Aiden Kelly finished second and third respectively in the men’s race (out of 44 sliders). Emily Sweeney finished third in the women’s race (out of 35 sliders). And the team of Jake Hyrns and Andrew Sherk finished third (out of 16 teams). The American team has a full slate of sliders qualified for the World Cup races.
Today is the women’s and doubles races. Keep watch on Erin Hamlin (2009 World Champion) and Kate Hansen (rising star) on the women’s side. Both are sliding fast and have a chance to medal today.
Picture of the Day
“Night at the Track”